R-6 operating levy approved, bond issue fails

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG)—The results of the two levy issues on Tuesday’s ballot were close but voters approved just one.
The 88-cent increase to the R-6 School District’s operating levy squeaked by at 1,525-1502, or 50.38 percent. The 12-cent debt service levy failed even though it generated 53.38 percent of the vote, 1,617-1,412.
The debt service levy failed because it required a 57.1 percent margin to pass, whereas the operating levy needed a simple majority vote.
The debt service levy was designed to allow the district to issue up to $16.8 million in general obligation bonds. The money was to be used to build a new entrance and 800-seat performing arts center at Warrensburg High School, build more classroom space at the middle school and improve the athletic field between Sterling Elementary and the middle school.
The 88-cent operating levy increase was approved and will be used to hire two new Warrensburg Police officers to bring the district’s total to three school resource officers. The additional funds will also go toward technology upgrades, installing a districtwide Wi-Fi system and increasing salary for staff members.
Dr. Scott Patrick and other members of the community gathered inside the Johnson County Courthouse to await the election results.
“Our 88-cent levy did pass, so we’re thrilled about that,” Patrick said. “Our construction bond did not pass, so we will go back to the drawing board and try again.”
Patrick said the district will implement the plans for the operating levy increase as soon as possible.
The R-6 District’s total levy increases from $4.437 to $5.317 per $100 of assessed valuation of real and personal property.